No need to ‘over con­sult’ says coun­cil

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - LAWRENCE GULLERY

If you were hop­ing to have your say on the an­nual plan for the district this year - you’re out of luck.

Matamata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil has in­voked its power to forego for­mal pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on most of its 2017-2018 an­nual plan this year.

In­stead, con­sul­ta­tion will be nar­rowed down to cer­tain top­ics, such as the pro­pos­als over the Easter Trad­ing by­laws.

New Zealand coun­cils no longer have to open up their doors to full pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion over their an­nual plans, if it does not dif­fer sig­nif­i­cantly from their long-term plans, which were re­viewed ev­ery three years.

The changes were made un­der the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act, in part, to cut back on rep­e­ti­tion when it came to re­view­ing is­sues al­ready cov­ered in the long-term plan.

Mayor Jan Barnes said the coun­cil be­lieved there were no sig­nif­i­cant changes over the next year which would war­rant for­mal, pub­lic-wide con­sul­ta­tion.

‘‘We be­lieve we have cov­ered off things thor­oughly in our long-term plan and over the com­ing year, there is noth­ing sig­nif­i­cant chang­ing.

‘‘But there will be by­laws and cer­tain sub­jects that we will be en­gag­ing peo­ple on, as we go for­ward.’’

Barnes said the coun­cil was con­scious not to ‘‘over-con­sult’’ and ‘‘wear peo­ple out’’.

‘‘We do take con­sul­ta­tion se­ri­ously and a lot of in­for­ma­tion about cer­tain top­ics are al­ready go­ing to be out there in the com­mu­nity, through our Coun­cil In Fo­cus [news­pa­per fea­ture], for ex­am­ple.’’

The an­nual plan must be adopted by June 30.

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